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Applications for number of paths?

  1. Jan 13, 2015 #1

    nomadreid

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    Given a set of points in space, there is a nice little method (using adjacency matrices, but this detail is not essential to the question) to determine how many possible paths there are from one point to another. Fine, but are there any real-world applications for this?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 13, 2015 #2

    phinds

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    UPS thinks so. :smile:
     
  4. Jan 13, 2015 #3

    nomadreid

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    Thanks, phinds, but UPS has criteria as to which path to take: the shortest in time or distance or expense, usually. This method doesn't allow any ranking in the paths; it only gives the number of paths. I don't see that UPS would find that very interesting.
     
  5. Jan 13, 2015 #4

    phinds

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    My point is that if you don't know what all the paths are, how can you possibly choose the most efficient one, no matter WHAT criteria you use?
     
  6. Jan 13, 2015 #5

    nomadreid

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    Valid point, except that this method does not tell you what the paths are, just how many of them there are.
     
  7. Jan 13, 2015 #6

    phinds

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    Ah. I didn't realize that. Yeah, I don't think that sounds helpful to anyone but it's amazing how sometimes things turn out to be useful in unexpected ways.
     
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